Homelessness is a growing issue in New Zealand. The latest census data (2013) shows that more than 40,000 people are without a home — a figure up 15 percent from the previous census. That is to say, according to official government definitions, close to 1 in 100 New Zealanders have exhausted all options to acquire safe and secure housing and are therefore homeless. This includes people living in cars, garages, temporary short-term accommodation and sleeping rough.
There’s a type of organic shop and farmers market purist I find amusing – those with more than one bottle of tamari in the pantry, who brag about how they hated plastic waste before David Attenborough shamed it. Whenever I find myself at a dinner or party being talked at by such people about pesticide-free lavender oil, I’ll likely challenge them on the fact working class people are less likely to ‘shop ethically’, and prod them about why this might be.